What is diligence?

Websters dictionary defines it as

a :persevering application :assiduity

b obsolete :speedhaste

2:the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (as a party to a contract)
The Strongs Concordance defines it as

haste, with haste

earnestness, diligence

  1. earnestness in accomplishing, promoting, or striving after anything

Can we combine these two definitions to say that diligence is the acting out of one’s commitment with the urgency of a limited time to accomplish this task?  This is the way I read these definitions in conjunction.

Let’s work this further,  if I am not diligent to remove my tomatoes from the vine before the freeze comes in, they will freeze and rot resulting in the loss of fruits from hard work. There is a time limit associated with this word diligence.

Why does this matter?  The earth was designed to teach us about Jesus.  If my tomatoes require diligence to harvest fruit,  what diligence is required then of my spiritual fruit to be harvested? Second Peter 1:5-8 states “and beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I used to read this list as a life long journey list. However,  if I start to understand that diligence is a time constrained obedience to my commitment,  I start to wonder how much time do I have?!?!? Well,  God says in Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him and Hebrews 11:1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. My emphasis here is on the word NOW. Faith is a now thing.  Not what you believed yesterday,  what you believe now. This list of things to do starts with faith and that’s now and then you have to add to that…. now!  The Lord says in James that faith without works is dead.  When are we expected to act on our faith?  As soon as you believe and every moment thereafter.  There should be an urgency to the diligence of adding these to our faith and that process may take a while (as does any productive task in a garden) but it will never produce fruit if we don’t realize there is a time limit.
Get started now…. ask yourself “what is virtue?”

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